a funny happening

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courtesy of thewritingnut.com

When I started this blog, I had no idea who I was writing to, or always what to write about.

It was my sisters idea, actually….. she knows I’ve always loved to write. “Start a mommy blog” she told me…. “you will become wildly popular and wealthy beyond all your wildest dreams”.

Or something like that.

I quickly realized that when forced to research topics to write about, things that other people might want to read about, I was less than inspired to write. Too much like work.

So it’s evolved into whatever it is right now… I guess it’s still a mommy blog, I do talk a lot about my kids…. sometimes I think the only people who will truly find some worth in it are my kids.

Which is why I find it so surprising and strangely flattering to hear that my oldest daughter has friends who actually read this too. And they tell her things like “OMG, your mom is so amazing and cool…. I wish she was my mom.”, and ” your mom is hilarious, I wish I was her.”, and “I’m so in love with your mom, I’m going to kidnap her.”

Or something like that……

And you know, this is a big deal for me…. never having been a “popular” kid in school. I was way too shy and blushed a lot….. and of course I didn’t have cool shoes so that alone set the stage for 4 years of high school misery.

And so, at the age of 40, quite past the age of my daughter and her friends…. they are somehow sucked in by the effortless charm I seem to exude, the breezy way I handle challenges and disappointments (with chocolate donuts..), and no doubt… by the rock star attitude with which I approach everything from potty training to bathing suit shopping.

…..or something like that.

 

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A beautiful story

 

I’ve been thinking about this couple…wondering how they are doing, and hoping they are still together and enjoying each other. I love their story…. a perfect memory for Valentine’s day. 🙂

hands

 

I worked today, checking on some patients in the hospital.

There was a lady there, age 83, I had to see her before she could go home. It really could have been a 5 minute visit, I already had looked up her lab and imaging studies before knocking on her door. I knew she didn’t need anything from my group at the moment.

I walked out of that room an hour later, feeling a little lighter around my heart.

Her husband was in there, and although 86, he was still fit and handsome. My patient also looked much younger than her age. I watched how they interacted with each other as I asked her some basic questions. Teasing each other, winking at me as though I was in on the joke.  They were so proud to bring up how they had been married almost 60 years.

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but somehow after talking about her medical issues, we just kept talking.

The husband had an iPad. I thought it was surprising and adorable. As we spoke about different things, where we all grew up, the job he retired from, the fact that the wife could barely walk anymore without help….. his fingers were skimming over images. He was so ready to share, I could tell he brought that thing with him everywhere.

He had retired over 20 years ago, he was an attorney. He had photos of newspaper clippings that he’d saved about trials he was involved in. I loved it. He’d met some celebrities, had some great stories to tell.

I asked him if he had a wedding picture on that iPad, from his own wedding.

He didn’t.

But as they told me “their” story, I got to see something even better.

They met, over 60 years ago, at the Jersey Shore. He was from Ohio, she was a Jersey native. They were both on vacation. She started telling me the story….”and can you believe it, this guy says he knows who he’s going to marry….the first DAY we meet! I thought he was crazy!” And he smiles as he takes over, “but look who was right and who was wrong, huh?”

So they had a few days together, getting to know each other before he went back to Ohio with his family.

And then HIS mom calls HER mom. I’m told because that’s how things were done back then. He was 26, she was 23. the moms plan together for her to come to Ohio to visit. She stays with the family. She comes again. Then he goes to Jersey.

He took her to a jewelry store to pick out a ring on her second visit.

She told me that she counted the actual days they spent together before getting married.

FIFTEEN.

15 days of face time before walking down the aisle.

Then she moved to Ohio. In with his family, his parents, his sister, him. “We had a grand time!” Then they moved out…..next door.

I heard about their three daughters, and now their grandkids. All daughters are married to good guys, thank God. I saw pictures of their Florida home, on a golf course…. I see his eyes look a little wistful when he talks about it and then asks “do you play golf?”  He misses it.

They built a home in the city I live in now. I saw pictures of this too. I’ve driven past this house.

They had to sell it. They are moving into assisted living together, because she can’t be alone safely. He does not leave her side. And this is when they look at each other with so much love, and she jokes how this is payback for all the years she took care of him. And he tells me she is the best mother and best wife anyone could have. They invited me to come visit them. Because somehow we have become friends in this short time.

And then he took out the iPad one last time.

And showed me a picture, black and white. Three young people on a beach, sitting on a blanket and squinting at the camera.

It’s him and her, with a friend. The DAY they met. Because he knew……

And THAT is a beautiful story.

 

Pay it forward

auroracommunity.org

auroracommunity.org

Once, years and years ago, I was out to dinner with my two oldest kids. This is way before I had the two youngest.

Our waitress came and the end of our meal to tell us our dinner had been paid for, by a gentleman who made a habit of coming to that restaurant and picking a new family to pay for each time. On that day, he picked us!

It was a nice feeling, but also kind of embarrassing. I wondered if I somehow looked in need. I was grateful it wasn’t a big bill or it would have made me more uncomfortable to have a stranger pay for us. I really didn’t get the concept of paying it forward. I never considered that it probably made that man feel good to do it for us. I never considered turning around and doing the same thing for another family.

Fast forward years later.

I hear from a friend about how she had started paying for the person behind her in line at fast food places, Starbucks and the like.

I thought it was a great idea, and started to do the same.

I was told once that the longest line of “paying it forward” at a particular Starbucks was 6 customers…6 people who not only appreciated a kind gesture, but took the next step to keep it going. Something that went right over my head years ago for some reason.

Now when I get in line at the drive through, I glance at the person behind me in my mirror. Wonder if they are stressed out, flustered, having any kind of a bad day. I listen as they order, if I can, and applaud them silently when they order the lemon pound cake with their coffee, calories be damned…

I like the feeling I have as I drive away, and I like that I remain anonymous to these people.

It’s not about being thanked, or needing the recognition from someone you choose to be kind to. I like how I’ve heard it described by the person who inspired me to think more of others. It’s more about sharing positive feelings, letting them out there and hoping they keep flowing.

Small things, cups of coffee, a box of diapers on the doorstep of that family with the new baby, even an extra big tip for your waiter/waitress.

And imagine how small acts might inspire big changes as they ripple from person to person to person…

Perspective

wasting money

Talking to my sister on the phone today.

We both signed up for this program called stitch fix a few months ago (stitchfix.com). You sign up and give a bunch of info about your style and every month you can get a box of clothing/accessories to fit your style profile. Keep what you want, send the rest back. Totally indulgent. But fun.

She opens her box while we are talking, and starts gushing about all the clothes, she loves them all. She always loves them all.

I usually keep one thing and send the rest back.

So I complain out loud to her, while my oldest is next to me, “why do YOU get all the good fixes, why can’t I get a box I love?!”

And my daughter looks at me.

“Yea mom, cause I’m sure all the starving kids in Africa don’t like their stitch fixes either.”

Right.

exactly.  quoteessays.com

exactly.
quoteessays.com